Brown, Vernon [Akitt]
- Ian J. Lochhead
(b London, March 23, 1905; d Auckland, Jan 28, 1965).
New Zealand architect of English birth. He was educated at Highgate School, London, and arrived in New Zealand in 1927. After working for several architectural firms in Auckland, he began his own practice in 1937. From 1945 he taught at the School of Architecture, University of Auckland. During the 1940s and 1950s he designed a series of simple, austere timber-frame houses clad in dark-stained weatherboards with low-pitched roofs, for example Redwood House (1943), Orakei, and Melville House (1947), Epsom. The plans of these houses were economical and rigorously organized, while construction techniques and details were those commonly available. Brown was one of the first New Zealand architects to discover in the principles of the Modern Movement the key to an authentic architectural idiom for his own time and place. Through his example as a practising architect and as a teacher, he exerted a strong influence on a generation of post-World War II New Zealand architects, encouraging them to find their own identity rather than relying on imported concepts and styles....